Israel had ordered approximately 1.1 million people to evacuate northern Gaza to the south on October 12, 2023.
An Israeli soldier shot and killed a Palestinian grandmother, identified as Hala Rashid Abd Al-Ati, in Gaza while fleeing the city to a “safe zone” with her grandson, Middle East Eye revealed on Wednesday.
The news outlet’s shocking discovery came in an exclusive video dating back to November 12, showing Abd Al-Ati holding her grandson, five-year-old Taim, who was waving a white flag as they fled to southern Gaza.
“The woman got shot. The bastards (Israeli troops) shot the woman,” the person recording the video for MEE said in the recording.
The woman’s family members, who managed to flee to different parts of Gaza, told MEE that she had liaised with the Red Cross before entering the area, declaring it as “a safe zone.”
The so-called safe routes are supposed to allow Palestinians to safely flee from northern to southern Gaza. Israeli occupation forces have been killing and detaining Palestinians while fleeing to different parts of Gaza, multiple news reports revealed.
“They told us they stopped working in the north of Gaza, and the area that we are in had become a red zone battlefield and that we had to leave the area immediately,” Sarah Bassem Khres, Abd al-Ati’s daughter, told MEE.
Speaking about her last moments with her late mother, Khres said Abd Al-Ati had made breakfast for the family and they all read the Quran together before fleeing after receiving instructions from the Red Cross.
“At around 11 am there was the sound of snipers and bombs, and our neighbours were shouting ‘leave, leave,’ so we picked up our things, held the white flags and left, while warplanes circled above our heads and live ammunition was being fired at us randomly,” she said.
Khres saw her mother fall to the ground after getting shot and killed by Israeli forces.
“I screamed for my mother… it felt like we were tasting death a thousand times every minute,” Khres said, recounting the horrors of the incident.
Israel had ordered approximately 1.1 million people to evacuate northern Gaza to the south on October 12, 2023, and occupation forces raided the Al-Shifa Medical complex, the largest in Gaza, the following month.
The attacks on the south have been on the rise since late last year despite Israel declaring the area to be a safer zone.
Israel has killed 23,469 Palestinians and wounded 59,604 others within nearly 100 days since it waged its genocidal war on Gaza, according to the latest Gaza government figures. The war has displaced more than two million people who are facing a dire humanitarian catastrophe.
Medical and food aid has barely reached any of Gaza’s 2.2 million population, with truckloads of assistance piling up in Egypt awaiting the greenlight to cross into the Strip.
On December 18, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report saying that Israel has been using starvation as a “weapon of war” in Gaza.
South Africa took up Israel’s crimes in Gaza to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 29, 2023, saying its military campaign amounts to genocide.
South Africa presented its arguments on Thursday and Israel will submit its response on Friday.
Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, one of the lawyers representing South Africa, said Israel’s “genocidal intent against the Palestinians in Gaza is evident from the way in which Israel’s military attack is being conducted.”